Z. North Carolina State Library Ralaigh N. C Doc. m^ ;j.i2^-^^ •-# ftf lil; '-%jt''^.i^ '-•'>MS^ w -^^ K-HyM:^ '-S.iuJ' '■ ^'^■' rt- J,* l^.^^" !i 5" i^.-^ r ©c Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ^IPH^, M®lB^III.(S^lli®lLaS^^ http://www.archive.org/details/landdevelopmentpOOapex I ml The preparation of this report was financially aided through a hederal grant from the Urban Renewal Administration of the Mousing and Home Finance Agency under the Urban Planning Assistance Program authorized by Section 701 of the Housing t ot 1954, as amended. Ac PREPARED FOR TOWN OF APEX NORTH CAROLINA TOWN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS Richard K. Helmold, Mayor Henry F. DeWitt L. Wayne Johnson Baswell Markham W . C . Rodger s E. 0. Seagroves PREPARED BY APEX PLANNING BOARD Carl P. HolLeman, Chairman W. J . Booth , Jr . Clarence Edwards William S. Goodwin Dr. Marvin T. Jones Calvin Perry Robert L . Savage Warren Tuns tall Beulah M. Weaver Jr . TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDED BY: State of North Carolina Department of Conservation & Development Division of Community Planning George J. Monaghan, Administrator Central Area Office Victor H. Denton, Director Pro j ec t Staff Victor H. Denton, Community Planner Gay Brantley, Cover Designer Anne Smith, Secretary Ray Brown, Draftsman June 1965 Price $1.00 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PART ONE FOUNDATION FOR THE PLAN REGIONAL SETTING i POPULATION AND ECONOMY 2 Population 2 Economy 2 LAND DEVELOPMENT - PAST AND PRESENT 4 PLANNING FOR DEVELOPMENT 7 Existing Land Use 7 Suitability of Soils for Septic Tank Systems . 12 Topography and Slope 13 Utilities 14 Housing Conditions 17 Guidelines for Development 20 PART TWO LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN LAND USE PLAN 22 THOROUGHFARE PLAN 3 1 PART THREE IMPLEMENTATION 33 INTRODUCTION It is necessary for municipalities needing costly im- provements, such as a new treatment plant or a new water reservior to plan for the facility in detail before construc- tion is commenced. In the realm of private enterprise, it is equal ly necessary for developers of residential subdivisions, shopping centers, and industrial facilities to do considerable planning before breaking ground. Ironically, this kind of planning has often had to be done almost in a vacume even in the large, supposedly sophisticated communities. This is be- cause most communities until rather recent times have had fio general development plans to which detailed plans could be coordinated. As a result many communities can look back into the past and spot instances where because of the lack of a general development plan water lines may have been extended in one direction, sewers in another direction and perhaps a school or hospital constructed where neither of the facilities were available. Only in relatively recent years have commu- nities begun to realize the need for, and the usefulness of, a long range community development plan. In the spring of 1962 the town of Apex, seeking technical assistance in developing a planning program and in formulating a development plan, contracted with the Division of Community Planning for planning assistance. In the intervening months the planning board has become actively involved in planning and has assumed its designated roll of advising the Town Board on planning related matters. During this period the board has devoted much of its time to studying the community and developing a generalized land development plan for the commu- nity. In this report the proposed land development plan is presented. In a previous report the population and economy of the area was analyzed. In the future two additional reports will be prepared, one, a plan for the central business area and the other, a plan for community facilities. PART REGIONAL SETTING The Town of Apex is located in the southwestern portion of Wake County approximately seven miles from the corporate limits of Raleigh and eighteen miles from the corporate limits of Durham. Situated in an area that historically is "tobacco land", the town has functioned as the major retail trade center for a sizable rural area spotted with numerous farms. Several transportation routes lead into the Apex area as indicated on the regional map on the preceding page. N.C. 55, however, is the only major highway within the corporate limits. U.S. 1, for years routed through the central portion of the com- munity, has within the last few months been rerouted approxi- mately one mile to the east on the southern extension of the Raleigh beltline. U.S. 64, the only other major highway in the area, transverses the northern portion of the area intersecting with U.S. 1 approximately two miles northeast of Apex. Rail service is provided by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and the Durham and Southern Railroad. The main line of the Seaboard between Richmond, Virginia, and Miami, Florida, extends through the community in a northeast and southwest direction. A branch line of the Durham and Southern between Durham and Dunn, N.C., extends through the community in a northwest, south- east direction. The Raleigh-Durham Airport, which serves as the major com- mercial air facility for eastern North Carolina, is located ap- proximately eleven miles north of Apex. POPULATION CHANGE 1910-1960 3,600 3,400 3,200 3 poo 2,800 Z.SOO 2,400 2,200 2,000 APEX , GARY a GARNER ■ ■ f - 1! : / : / : ^■ c^*'*-' '< ■"T 1 -1 WHITE OAK TWR(APEX), GARY TWP. (GARY) a ST. MARYS TWR (GARNER) POPULATION AND ECONOMY* POPULATION The population of Apex has been increasing at a slow rate for the past several years as indicated in the table on the preceeding page. If the future population estimates are based upon the trends that have been established over the last 40 to 50 years, by 1980 Apex will have approximately 1,900 inhabit- ants. Dr. Lawrence Mann, in a recently completed study of Apex's population and economy indicates, with considerable support material that Apex probably will begin to absorb an increasingly larger amount of the growth generated by Raleigh during this decade. He indicates that the neighboring community of Gary for decades had a rather slow growth rate until this past dec- ade when it came under the influence of the population increase that is taking place in the Raleigh area. (See table on pre- ceding page). Dr. Mann states that it is likely, especially with the construction of the beltline extension, that Apex will be the next community to experience a portion of the population increase generated by the Raleigh urban area. If his supposi- tion is correct the population of Apex will move upward at a rate greater than at any time in the past with a possibility that Apex could have a 1980 population of over 12,000. Dr. Mann quickly points out, however, that although there is this possibility, a much more conservative estimate would be around 5,000, or an increase of approximately 3,500 within the next fifteen years. For a detailed analysis of the population and economy of Apex reference is made to August 1963 report compiled by Dr. Lawrence Mann and published by the Division of Community Plan- ning. Copies of the report are available at the Apex Town Hall. ECONOMY Apex is going through a critical period in its history in that the economic base of the community is changing from agri- culture to industry. Until the 1940's the local merchants had been vitally dependent upon the business of the rural populace living in the area. As the merchants generally had little com- petition from surrounding communities because of the poor roads and the slow and often uncomfortable means of travel, often little attention was given to the exterior and interior ap- pearance of the stores. The nona gr i cu 1 1 ur e populace living in the area normally were employed locally or by one of the two railroads extending through the community. In summary, Apex was a rather independent community serving the inhabitants living in the southwestern portion of Wake County. During the last two decades the long established rural "way of life" in the area has diminished primarily as a result of the decline in the number of people engaged in agricultural activities in the area and by the vast improvements in trans- portation. Today with a population which is predominately mobile and urban rather than immobile and rural, the needs and desires of the people are different. Consequently, the local merchants no longer have a captive trade area. Instead they are discovering that they must compete with the merchants of Gary, Fuquay- Var i na , Raleigh, and Durham for trade of even the local residents. Merchants are finding that unlike in the past they now must not only stock desired items, but they must make their establishments inviting, inside and out, and offer other inducements to attract customers. In regards to employment, Apex has been fortunate to have two sizable industries locate in the area recently, first being Apex Manufacturing Company and more recently Schieffelin and Company. These two major industries have aided in bolstering the local economy. It is very probable, however, that a sizable portion of the payrolls are being spent not in Apex but in the larger surrounding communities, especially Raleigh, because of the ease of access by improved highways and because of the un- inviting appearance of downtown Apex. Municipal officials as never before, have the opportunity to guide development in an orderly manner and take steps to correct past mistakes so that in time Apex can develop into an orderly community. However, if development continues as it has in the past, the future promises to be dark for Apex. A community seeking additional urban development normally must choose between two alternatives; either to 1) close its eyes to undesirable development practices and permit new businesses, industries, and residential development to be lo- cated wherever the developer desires, out of fear that the developer will become irritated and locate in another commu- nity, or 2) elevate the goal of orderly community development to top priority, welcoming only the developers of proposed new uses that are willing to locate where they will be com- patible with existing and proposed uses in the community. The first approach has generally been followed in Apex and many other communities -- the results are apparent. It is rather ironic that the communities that are most noticeably deteriorating physically and economically are often the very communities that are increasingly becoming more lax in seeking a goal of orderly development. On the other hand, some of the communities that have realized the importance of orderly development and have adopted strong measures to achieve orderly development are the communities that are experiencing substantial growth. Certainly there are other development factors involved, however, one cannot overlook the fact that an increasing number of people are becoming disgusted with the congestion, appearance, etc. brought about by the lack of planning and are seeking to escape by moving into new subdivi- sions and communities that are being successful in achieving some degree of orderly development. Apex is fast approaching the crossroads of decision -- whether to continue to conform to the wishes and demands of business, industry, and residential developers or to give first priority to orderly development. The picture of Apex twenty years hence will be shaped by the choice the municipal officials must make between these two alternatives. On the map on the preceding page several examples of poor development are indicated. As several of the features are in the newer developments, it is an indication that more consid- eration needs to be given to development proposals. 1) poor lot layout 2) poor street design 3) poorly designed and dangerous intersection 4) off-set in street alignment 5) interior lot -- no public access 6) block unnecessarily small 7) incompatible land uses 8) poor access 9) right-of-way for street extension needed but not provided 10) street right-of-way too narrow 11) example of unsightly development on a major entrance to Apex 12) example of a community facility (school) in an undeveloped area, not easily accessible by the students PLANNING FOR DEVELOPMENT Within the past decade, even though the population of Apex has not increased significantly, new development has been and is taking place. Fortunately to date this new development has not greatly fostered undesirable development. It is very probable, however, that if there is an increase in the inten- sity of new development in the area, the continuation of de- velopment without reference to a development plan will even- tually lead to many undesirable and costly development problems In this section the major factors considered in formulating the Apex Land Development Plan are discussed. EXISTING LAND USE The future development of Apex whether in terms of hundreds or thousands of people or hundreds or thousands of acres will in all probability be built around and influenced by existing development. Because of this fact it is desirable to inventory and analyze the existing use of the land in Apex. In the sprinj of 1963 the Division of Community Planning conducted a detailed land use survey of the Apex planning area, which includes the Town of Apex and the fringe area within one mile of the corpo- rate limits. All of the land uses in this area were surveyed and plotted on a map. To aid in the identification of the numerous uses found in the area, the uses were grouped into categories according to their major function. For example banks, hardware stores, and clothing stores were classified as retail, business, etc. On the preceding page is a gener- alized land use map showing the uses of the land in Apex. A graphically and statistical summary of the uses is given on the following page. A brief discussion of each of the major land use groupings in Apex f o 1 lows . EXISTING LAND USE APEX, NORTH CAROLINA 1963 USE OF LAND USE OF DEVELOPED LAND TRANSPORATION 54% SERVICES 37. SOCIAL a CULTURAL 9°/ NOUSTRY 2% STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF EXISTING LAND USE IN THE 1963 iPEX PLANNING AREA Inside Cori :al Planni Land Use ssif icatic ; iness detail Wholesale mufac seel Proposed Si ■Jon-Vehicu; Watei Total Residences , and Undevel Areas Acreage 7.58 2.15 (5.50) (1.56) (2.08) (.58) 7.59 2 .16 (4.55) (1.29) (3.04) (.87) 189 13 53.65 (40 02) (11.35) ( 141 41) (40. 11) (6 97) ( 1 .98) ( 73) ( .21) 352 52 100% 628 07 -- 6 97 __ 4.47 (2.97) ( 1 .50) .09 ( .06) ( .03) 14.58 12.27) (2.31 ) .32 ( .27) ( .05) 19 15 319 69 6.92 (4 05) (66 22) (1.43) 14 32) ( 153 65) (3.33) ( 71) (91 38) (1.98) ( 07) (8 44) ( .18) 35 70 ._ _. 63 59 ._ __ 1 2 05 .22 (8 47) ( . 15) (3 58) ( .07) 22 17 .40 ( 16 82) ( .30) (5 35) ( . 10) 11 31 .20 32 35 .58 508 82 9 .08 ( 106 24) (1 .90) (295 06) (5 .26) (98 35) ( 1 .76) (9 17) ( .16) Residential Development ; Prior to the 1950's most of the resi- dential development in Apex was located east of the Seaboard Railroad with only a small concentration of development west of the railroad. Since 1950 the new development that has taken place east of the railroad has generally been contiguous to existing development and on existing streets or extensions of existing streets. West of the railroad there has not been significantly more new development than east of the railroad, however, the new development is removed from existing develop- ment sufficiently that new streets have had to be laid out and opened. Also, being virgin area to urban development consid- eration has had to be given to how the area could be serviced by utilities, mainly by sewerage system, as the area was and still is not in the drainage basin of the treatment facility. Most of the urban development in Apex has taken place in an east-west direction with little new development to the north and south. In searching for an explanation for this pattern of development, a possible answer is that with the abundance of vacant land in the area, the area to the south has not developed primarily because it is on the side of Apex away from the growing Raleigh-Durham urban area, plus the fact that the land is farmed rather extensively. As for the area north of Apex, the most apparent answer as to why development has not taken place centers around the availability of land. This particular area will be discussed in more detail later. Very little urban residential development has taken place beyond the corporate limits within the planning area. Most noticeable is the concentration of development east of the plywood plant on McCullers Road. Business Development : Unlike many communities Apex has only one business center with no significant sub-centers siphoning business out of the downtown area. Most of the business devel- opment is concentrated on Salem Street between Chatham and Central Streets. Parking, to be sure, is a problem but once a potential customer gets parked he can conveniently walk to all of the major stores in Apex. This cannot be done in many com- munities and this is one of the factors that makes shopping centers appealing. Realizing this it is easy to see why the planning board favors intensive development of the downtown area rather than to permit commercial uses to scatter to a point where the distance between stores located at opposite ends of the shopping area exceeds an acceptable walking distance (normally considered to be approximately 600 feet). The scattered business development in Apex currently takes the form of small isolated convenience grocery stores and serv- ice stations except for the new pharmacy on South Salem. This particular use, without judicious enforcement of the zoning ordinance, could set the presidence for permitting other business uses to locate along what is now the most attractive entrance to downtown Apex and thus quicken the deterioration of this area. In the one mile fringe area there are a few small neighbor- hood type grocery stores and service stations. The only major noticeable exception to this is the r e s t aur an t- s er vie e station east on N.C. 55. Currently this particular type of business is not objectionable but again without judicious enforcement of the zoning ordinance this use could easily set the presidence for "strip" business development along N.C. 55 from the rail- road underpass to the U.S. 1. Industrial Development : There has been little industrial de- velopment within the corporate limits of Apex and the develop- ment that has taken place is scattered with no two major in- dustries in any given area. From a planning standpoint most of the present industries are located in areas suited for the particular industries. As two examples, the Apex Manufacturing Company is easily acces- sible, located where the plant stands as an advertisement to the public and where it does not create any significant undesirable effects on the surrounding area. The Carolina Plywood, a heavy type of industry, is located adjacent to a railroad siding and in an area where any offensive liquid waste can be discharged into the sewerage treatment plant. Also of importance to the town, this industry, which occasionally creates odors, is lo- cated on the eastern side of the community where the predomi- nantly southwest winds blow any undesirable odors away from the urban area . In the one mile fringe area, the major industrial plant is Schieffelin and Company, located adjacent to U.S. 1. The most noticeable objectionable factor at this time is its acces- sibility from Apex. Hopefully the circulation problem can be corrected in the near future. Social, Cultural and Recreational Development : The major uses in this category are the hospital, the adjoining medical center, and the memorial park. These uses are vital to a community, however, few communities the size of Apex have such elaborate facilities. The most noticeable facility in this category that is missing is a public library. Transportation Uses ; Although Apex is essentially a residential community, approximately 54 percent of the developed land is being used for transportation purposes. Over fifty percent of this land is used for streets and railroads; the remaining per- centage represents the land used for related transportation uses such as the truck terminal at the intersection of James Street and N.C . 55 . The street system alone consumes over forty percent of the developed land. This percentage is unusually high compared to twenty-five to thirty-five percent in many North Carolina communities. The large amount of land in streets is mainly the result of the numerous small residential blocks surrounded by streets that are scattered throughout the older sections of the community. Whereas blocks should normally be over six hundred feet in length, many of the blocks in Apex are nearly square with the longest dimension less than five hundred feet. As a result of this pattern of development, the municipality is in a position where it must maintain streets that originally were not needed and should never have been dedicated. In the newer developments in Apex most of the blocks have been laid out in a rectangular pattern with a lineal dimension of over six hundred feet. Generally this type of development should be encouraged while the creation of small residential blocks should be discouraged. In addition to the large percentage of land used for streets and the rather small percentage of land used for trans- portation related uses, over ten percent of the developed land is used by the two railroads in the community. Undeveloped Land : As indicated in the land use statistical table only about 35 percent of the incorporated area is devel- oped. This leaves 65 percent in the vacant, undeveloped category. The land in this classification ranges from parcels that are undeveloped for physical reasons such as rugged topog- raphy to parcels that are unde\' eloped either because of a lack of demand or because the owners do not desire to develop their land at this time. Apex is fortunate in many respects to have such a large acreage of undeveloped land as this makes it possible for the municipality to absorb a considerable amount of growth within the present incorporated area where municipal facilities and services can be easily provided This is of course assuming that the land will be made available for urban purposes as the need arises If the land is not available, development will be forced out of the community to take place in the unincorpo- rated area or in the neighboring communities. 1 1 SUITABILITY OF SOILS FOR SEPTIC TANK SYSTEMS UNSATISFACTORY CZI GENERALLY SATISFACTORY [ZD SUITABILITY OF SOILS FOR SEPTIC TANK SYSTEMS The suitability of soil? for septic tank systems is an important factor that needs to be considered in formulating a land development plan. If a particular area because of soils is found to be unsuitable for septic tank systems, a town has the right and responsibility to require large lot sizes to lessen contamination of the area as well as the right and re- sponsibility to inform the general public and hopefully the possible buyers of the health hazards of living in such areas. As indicated on the map on the preceding Page the only large area that has soils generally unsuitable for septic tank systems is found in the northeast portion of the Apex planning area. The other smaller areas delineated on the map are for the most part low areas adjacent to streams that have a high moisture content and are subject to flooding. In the areas that are indicated on the map as generally suitable for septic tank systems the county sanitarian or the local building inspector should conduct tests to determine if the soils are adequate for the anticioated sewage discharge. If the soils are found to be suitable for septic tank systems, residential lots should not be less than 20,000 the minimum size recommended by the North Carolina Board of Health for the con- struction of septic tank systems If the soils are not suitable for septic tank systems development should be prohibited until the area can be serviced by the municipal sewerage system. TOPOGRAPHY AND SLOPE Topography and slope are two important factors that need to be considered in selecting areas suitable for future urban development. Unfortunately the only topographic mapping of the Apex area is at one inch equals four miles with a contour interval of fifty feet. Needless to say, such a map reveals little about the topography and slope of the area. By using soil related information compiled by the U. S. Soil Conser- vation Service it was possible to locate the areas with slopes greater than ten percent. As indicated on the map on the preceding page, and as might be expected, these areas con- stitute on a small portion of the Apex area and in most cases they are narrow strips, paralleling the flood plains. UTILITIES* The availability of utilities is another factor that must be considered in formulating a land development plan. As was previously mentioned the price tag on new development is gen- erally closely related to the availability of utilities, namely water and sewer. A not uncommon misconception on the part of many developers is that if they pay the town for the instal- lation of utilities they should be given permission to put the utility lines where they please. If municipal policies are based on this presumption the community is literally at the mercy of the developers- In reality, often the installation costs of utilities are only a small portion of the total cost to the community. To illustrate, a developer may pay the total installation cost for municipal water and sewer service. Super- ficially this would appear to be the total cost to the community This, however, is not the case as each new development large or small reduces the surplus capacity of the water reservoirs, water pumps and water treatment facilities, as well as the sewerage facilities, both constructed and maintained by munic- ipal tax dollars from all the local residents. A srailiar situation is true with streets; over a ten or twenty year period the maintenance of any given street will probably exceed the initial construction cost. The cost of street maintenance is the financial burden of all the local residents. If, therefore, over the long run the cost of new develop- ment rest on the shoulders of the local citizenry, they or the municipality should have the right to only accept development proposals that are in the best interest of the community. * Utilities will be discussed in more detail in P j- an for Com- muni ty F a c i 1 i t i^s . a report to be published within the next eighteen months. V- \ / \ \ /\ / p.;^ S^ / , I DRAINAGE BASINS /" / / / \ Relating these comments to Apex, tha municipality's major utilities are electricity, water and sewer. Because of the existing elaborate network of electrical lines there generally are no major problems involved in extending electrical facil- ities into new areas. Normally water lines can also be ex- tended into new areas with relatively ease merely by the exten- sion of existing lines; however, in connecting new areas to the municipal water system the major factors to be considered should be the adequacy of existing wells, pumping stations, and lines to supply the additional demand. The major problem in regards to utilities evolves around sewage as the sewerage system is a gravity system which necessi- tates connections being upstream, and in the same drainage, from where the sewage is collected either for treatment or for pump- ing into drainage basin of the treatment plant. In Apex, as indicated on the map on the preceding page, most of the area east of the Seaboard Railroad is sewered or can be sewered by gravity lines to the new treatment plant on Middle Creek. As the area west of the railroad is not in the drainage basin of the treatment plant, pumping stations have had to be installed in two of the drainage basins to pump the sewage out of these basins into the drainage basin of the Middle Creek. Assuming a significant amount of development will take place in the Apex area within the next ten to twenty years, additional treatment facilities will be needed- Two apparent alternatives exist. Development can either be permitted to continue to take place in a random manner all around Apex which will eventually lead to a very costly sewerage system a? either pumping stations or treatment plants will eventually need to be provided on all the major drainage ways around the community; or intensive urban development ran be channeled into selected areas that can be sewered with a minimum cost to the municipal residents. The decision between these two alternatives must be made at the local le^'el- The major drainage areas are indicated on the overlay map on the preceding page- The largest area is in the northern part of Apex, north of Hunter Street and west of North Salem Street extension. This area could be sewered by either a large pumping station of small or medium size treatment plant several hundred feet southeast of the intersection of N. C. 5 5 and U. S. 64 on a branch of Beaver Greek. The other drainage areas around Apex, unlike the above are smaller in size, thus prob- ably making the cost of a treatment facility per dwelling served much greater than in the larger Beaver Creek drainage basin . HOUSING CONDITIONS I There are several attractive residential areas in Apex and a drive through the community will reveal se\eral new residen- tial dwellings as well as numerous older, but well maintained dwellings. Such a drive, however, will also reveal that there are some undesirable residential areas in the community. In this section of the report the focus will be on the substandard dwellings primarily to determine the extend of blight in Apex. The information presented on the map on the preceding page was compiled by the Division of Community Planning in 1962. In this survey each house was externally evaluated and rated as to its general appearance. As the information compiled in this survey correlated closely with the 1960 U.S. Census of Housing figures it was assumed that the 1962 survey generally located graphically the blighted structures indicated in the 1960 sur- vey , It is apparent from viewing the housing appearance map on the preceding page that the only large concentration of sub- standard housing in Apex is located southwest of the intersec- tion of N.C. 55 and Salem Street- However, it is also apparent that in many of the residential blocks, the standard dwellings are interspersed with an occasional substandard dwelling. In many places the major difference between the standard and sub- standard dwellings is not the age of the structures but rather the degree of maintenance. In fact in some of the blocks some of the substandard dwellings appear to be of more recent con- struction than some of the standard dwellings that over the years have received proper maintenance Because of this mixture of good and bad housing and because of the large number of relatively old buildings, the community will increasingly be plagued with the possibility that the exist- ing substandard dwellings will become the nucleus for a malignant type blight that will rapidly spread encompassing sizi residential areas. ble The red circles used to indicate substandard housing struc- tures on the map have intentionally been enlarged to cover an area with a diameter of approximately 300 feet. This was done to portray the area most noticably affected by each of the sub- standard structures. It can generally be considered that in those locations where the circles overlap the areas are already blighted, and in those locations where the circles are in close proximity, the areas are deteriorating and are on the threshold of b 1 igh t . Numerous explanations can be voiced for the facts revealed in the following table but in the end it must be concluded that when more than one out of every three houses on the average need immediate attention during this time of prosperity, the condition of housing in the coming years will very likely be- come even worse unless measures are promptly taken to effec- tively combat blight. HOUSING CONDITIONS FOR APEX AND OTHER SELECTED COMMUNITIES IN WAKE COUNTY Value Total Owner Percent Communi ty Uni ts Occupied Sound Deteriorating Di lapidc ited Apex 467 $ 8,500 65 20 15 Cary 1,041 12, 100 86 9 5 Fuquay-Var ina 1,025 10,800 65 21 14 Garner 994 13 ,000 79 16 5 Raleigh 27 ,415 13 ,500 84 11 5 Wake Forest 857 -5,000 60 22 18 Wendell 553 9 ,000 87 11 1 Zebu Ion 500 10,500 78 17 5 SOURCE: 1960 U.S. Bureau of Census of Housing. As to what can be done to improve the general condition of housing in Apex, perhaps the nearest to a single answer would be first community concern about the problem and then cooper- atively community action. Zoning, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, minimum housing codes, public housing and urban renewal can all play a vital role in correcting and preventing blighted conditions. However, until the businessmen, laborers, industrialists, housewives, and everyone living in Apex becomes concerned to a point where they will take an active interest not only in eliminating blight but in approving the appearance of the community, all other measures will fall short. GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENT What does the future hold for Apex? A lot will depend on what measures are taken locally to improve the livability of the community as it exists today as well as what measures are taken to insure that the community grows in an orderly manner In Part One of this report the major factors that need to be considered in striving to achieve a more orderly physical pattern of development have been discussed. The major con- clusions drawn from this material are enumerated below: 1. Apex during the next two decades will likely ex- perience a considerable population increase as it increasingly becomes a part of the Raleigh urban area . 2. An increasing amount of vacant land in the Apex area will be utilized for urban purposes as the population increases. If Apex's anticipated development is similar to what Gary is now ex- periencing the new residential developments will have lower densities than the older developments. From a planning standpoint this means that more acres of land will be utilized than in the past per hundred population. The business segment of Apex's economy needs to be strengthened. Without substantial improvements in the appearance of the downtown area, and with- out the local merchants demonstrating more aggressiveness in seeking to entice more people to shop locally, an increasing number of people will bypass Apex to shop elsewhere. The industrial base of Apex has been expanded with the recent opening of the Apex Manufacturing Plant and the Schieffelin and Company Plant. How- ever, even with these two sizable industries most of the employed individuals living in the Apex area work in Raleigh. In the future if additional industries are not attracted to the Apex area, the community will increasingly become a bedroom commu- nity, with the local residents working and shopping els ewh ere . An analysis of the Existing Land Use Map reveals that more consideration needs to be given to future development proposals to insure that they are in the best interest of the community before they are approved. Primarily due to the availability of land, most of the recent urban development has taken place east and west of the downtown area with little new development to the north or south. The business area of Apex is concentrated in a relatively small area with most of the stores within easy walking distance of parking areas. Recent trends indicate that this desirable amenity will be lost if businesses that should be located in the downtown area are continued to be permitted in other areas. Of the social and cultural, facilities inventoried, the was an attractive and conveniently located library . nd recreational ajor missing use 9. All of the soils found in the Apex area appear to be generally suitable for septic tank systems except for the low areas and one sizable area northeast of the corporate limits. 10. Urban development should not be permitted in areas with slopes greater than ten percent. This is not a major development problem in the Apex area as only a few small areas, mainly along some of the streams, have slopes greater than ten percent. 11. The area north of Hunter Street and west of Salem Street appears to be the only large area that in the future could be economically sewered by gravity lines. A treatment plant or a large pumping station would be necessary. 12. A substantial amount of urban development can take place within the present incorporated area as sixty-five percent of the area is vacant. PART II LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN EXISTING PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL SECONOARV BUSINESS OFFICE AND INSTITUTIONAL RECREATIONAL INDUSTRIAL Large traffic generating uses such as industries should be located adjacent to major thoroughfares. Only low density residential development (minimum of 20,000 square feet per dwelling) should be permitted in those areas that cannot be tied into the existing sewerage system. Major land uses requiring fire protection should be located within the Apex Fire District. Unpleasant noise, smoke, and odor producing uses should be permitted only on the east and north- east side of the community where the prevailing winds will carry the noise, smoke, and odors away from the urban area. Primary retail business uses, such as department stores and clothing stores should locate only in the central business district. Major industrial uses should be located adjacent to either one of the railroads or U.S. 1. Adjoining land uses should be compatible. Where necessary, buffers in the form of tall evergreen hedges should be provided to reduce the possi- bility of one use having an adverse effect on adjoining uses. Linear development of business uses along all public rights-of-way should be discouraged. 11 New land uses should be permitted only where off- street parking can be provided. 12. The existing street system should be improved to provide a loop or circumferential street around the central business area. 13. Social and cultural uses, including schools and recreational areas should be located near the geographical center of areas they serve. 14, Urban development should be discouraged in areas with slopes greater than ten percent. Proposed residential sites should not be subject to flooding. Residential Development : Residential development in Apex is rather compact with most of the development clustered around the central business district. There are, however, several vacant parcels scattered throughout the developed area. As most of these parcels are ideally suited for residential development, a concerted effort should be made to encourage the development of these lots before, or at least in conjunction with, new development in the peripheral areas. How can this be done? One of several methods would be to supply the local realtors with a listing of these vacant parcels. It is very probable that with- in a few years, if this listing were maintained, the lot vacancy in the developed area would noticeably be reduced. In the fringe area around Apex most of the urban type de- velopment will likely take place north of N.C. 55 on the Raleigh side of the community. However, unless steps are taken to channel development into desired areas, it will take place in a random manner . This leads to the questions -- Is there a need to encourage urban development in some areas while discouraging it in other areas? And if there is a need to guide development, how can it be done? Primarily because of the sewerage problems in the area, intensive urban development should be channeled into selected areas. If this is not done, sometime, possibly within the next twenty to thirty years, the municipality will find that requests, if not demands for the town to provide municipal sewerage serv- ice in most if not all of the drainage basins around Apex will place an almost unbearable tax burden on the local residents. The rebuttal often voiced to this is that "we will provide septic tank systems for the dwellings in our development." This superficially may sound feasible and they may work for a time but as an area develops the soils often become contaminated and sometimes saturated with sewerage. The end result is that the residents in such an area either try to tolerate this situation or, as often happens, the residents band together and request the town to sewer their area. As Apex is on a ridge with drainage basins radiating outward in all directions it is not feasible to attempt to sewer each of these basins. As an alternative it is proposed that only certain drainage basins be selected for later sewering by the municipality. Only in these areas should intensive urban development be permitted. In the other basins in the area the town should discourage if not prohibit intensive urban development. What drainage basins should be selected? There is only one sizable drainage area in the fringe area. This is located north of Hunter and west of Salem Streets. This entire area could be sewered as stated in Part I by one treatment plant near the intersection of N.C. 55 and U.S. 64. As this area is currently coming under the influence of urban development and as the area is topographically suited for urban development, this should be considered the prime area for urban development. In addition to the above drainage area, there are two small drainage basins that should be considered primarily be- cause they encompass areas that are prime for urban development except for municipal sewerage. One area is located between the Durham and Southern Railroad and McCullers Road; the other area is located north of McCullers Road and southeast of Laura Duncan Road. The sewerage from these two areas could be treated by two small treatment plants or pumped into the Middle Creek drainage basin for treatment at the new treatment plant. In the other drainage areas around Apex, lot sizes of 30,000 square feet or greater should be required to minimize the health hazards of septic tank systems. Business Development : "If you don't let us locate our business on this particular lot we will locate in one of the surrounding communities." This statement echoes in the ears of town board and planning board members throughout this country. As often is the case, the town needs new business establishments; no residents in the area have registered complaints so the area, or in some cases, the lot is rezoned -- from residential to business. In some instances an attractive new structure emerges on the site that compliments the area. In many instances, how- ever, the business turns out to be nothing more than another service station, curb market, drive-in, or similar use that only aides in destroying the residential character of the area. Apex, not unlike many other small communities, has for years been faced with this dilemma. In seeking to avoid a reoccurrence of such a situation, several business areas have been indicated on the Land Development Plan. These are areas that the planning board, after studying the community in detail, found to be most suitable for business development. If, in the future, the municipality adheres to a ridged policy of permitting businesses only in areas set aside for business uses on the Land Development Plan, it is entirely possible that these areas will within a few years become thriving shopping areas. One important side effect of this type of development would be that the residential areas could be kept free of business development. All that is necessary to work toward this type of develop- ment is a modern, up to date zoning ordinance, which the town has, and a planning board and town board that is willing to vigorously defend such a plan^ but at the same time display a willingness to listen monthly to long narrations on why business uses should be permitted on every major street in the community. It must be expected that some businesses will not locate in Apex because they cannot locate where they please. It is very probable, however, that businesses that are vitally inter- ested in locating in Apex will not object to having to locate in one of the areas established for business uses. ]5usiness Locations Indicated on the Plan Central Business District : As indicated on the plan, it is pro- posed that further longitudinal expansion of the downtown business area be discouraged. Sufficient vacant land and unused struc- tures are in the delineated area to accommodate several new businesses. Consideration, however, needs to be given to how and where the central business district should expand in the future. At this point in the planning program, it would appear that the most logical direction for expansion would be to the west. In the near future a detailed study will be made of the central business area. Upon compilation of this study it will be possible to ascertain the direction that the central business district should expand. Highway Business Areas : These areas are established primarily for businesses that cater to the motoring public. Uses would include motels, restaurants, service stations, and similar automobile oriented business uses. In all of the proposed areas, right-of-way entrances to the uses should be controlled to minimize the congestion on the highways. It is suggested that all development proposals in these areas be submitted to the Highway Commission for review before local action is taken on the proposals. Neighborhood Business Areas : These business areas are primarily for businesses that cater to the residents in the neighborhood where they are located. Uses would include drug stores, grocery stores, small variety stores and similar business uses. Most of the existing residential areas are in close prox- imity to the central business district consequently there is not a need to establish neighborhood business locations in most of the developed areas. As the community grows in geographical size, provisions need to be made to insure that neighborhood business areas are reserved in the fringe areas. Suggested general locations for such uses are indicated on the plan. 27 Industrial Development : Apex has been participating with scores of other communities in a highly competitive activity -- that of seeking to attract new industries into the area. In most instances, the communities that have experienced success in this venture have been those that have spent more time and money in searching for industry and in implementing measures to make their communities more livable. The communities, however, that have benefited most from experiencing success in their industrial promotional efforts are those that not only have attractive industrial sites, but also sites that can easily be supplied with municipal facilities and services and sites that are compatible with existing and proposed land uses in the area. This is not an easy task but if it can be accomplished, the returns to a community will normally be greater than the initial savings realized by perhaps investing in a parcel of land that may be available for a nominal cost, but in a poor location from a community standpoint. Two large industrial areas have been identified in the Apex area. The areas are sufficiently large that it should be pos- sible for the community to meet the site demands of any industry. The industrial area in the vicinity of the plywood plant can be sewered by the existing system. Engineering studies will need to be made in the other locations to determine if any particular parcel of land of interest to an industry can be sewered by the existing sewerage facilities. S ocial and Cultural Development : In planning for the future growth of Apex, it is as necessary to plan and provide for the social and cultural facilities as it is for any of the other uses discussed in this report. Unlike the other uses, however, the social and cultural uses are normally considered to be com- patible with residences and therefore are often located in residential areas. On the Land Development Plan only the major existing and proposed social and cultural areas have been indi- cated as they are normally the large land users which must be 28 planned for when an area is initially subdivided. Other social and cultural uses including churches, garden club centers and social and civic clubs have not been indicated on the plan be- cause they are normally small land users and can if necessary be located within residential areas in vacant parcels orig- inally subdivided for residential use. Proposed Recreational Areas Apex is fortunate to have a sizable municipal park with a community center and swimming pool. As the community grows in population and geographical size it will be necessary to establish supplementary recreational areas. Where possible it would be desirable to utilize at least some of the areas with unique geographical features for recreational areas. As an example, a portion of the area north of the Apex Hospital along the creek has unusally steep slopes. Provisions should be made to reserve some of this area for public recreational purposes . As the fringe area around Apex develops it will also be desirable to reserve relatively flat areas in each quadrant of the community for small neighborhood parks. On the plan the locations of these parks have been indicated in a generalized manner as in most cases the choice locations for the facili- ties can more adequately be determined after sufficient devel- opment has taken place in the areas to determine the probable pattern of development. M edical Center : The medical and dental professions in Apex should be encouraged to develop a larger medical center in the vicinity of the hospital. Presently many such offices are scattered throughout the business area where parking is often a problem. Interest in such a center needs to be quickly kindled before at least some of the local practitioners, now experiencing a shortage of office and parking space, venture cut independently to construct new office facilities. 29 - Other F aci lities Pub lie Library : Apex needs a modern, attractive public library Although this use is too small to indicate on the plan such a facility should preferably be located on the ground floor in the central business district. It is entirely possible that if Apex's popi Pub lie Schools lation increases significantly, within ten years a new elemen- tary school and possibly a high school will be needed in the As there appears at this time to be several possible alternatives for providing school facilities for a larger popu- lace, no new school facilities have been indicated on the Development Plan. THOROUGHFARE PLAN The Thoroughfare Plan as discussed in this section and as graphically illustrated on the preceding page is a proposed traffic circulation plan developed by the Planning Board. The plan has been reviewed by the Board of Town Commissioners and the State Highway Commission; however, adoption of the plan had been deferred until the location of a needed collector street in the vicinity of the new Junior High School can be ascertained. The existing circulation system in Apex is generally ade- quate for the present volumes of traffic. The two most notice- able circulation problems are 1) the lack of a system of loop streets around the central business district and 2) the lack of a similar system in the residential areas. Currently it is not possible to drive around the business area; rather it is necessary to make a "U" turn at the end of the business area or take some circuitous route through a residential area or across the busy Seaboard Railroad to return to the shopping area. To aid in alleviating this annoying situation it is sug- gested that Hudson Avenue be extended northward behind the stores on the west side of Salem Street to tie into Grove Street, as indicated on the plan. The extension of this street would greatly improve traffic circulation in the central business area as well as provide easy access to several vacant areas be- hind the stores that could be utilized for off-street parking. In the residential areas that encompass the central busi- ness district there are several radial streets that provide access to the downtown area. Noticeably lacking, however, are major streets that connect the radial streets. Most of the uses that generate traffic have until recently been concentrated in the central part of the community and have therefore been easily accessible by the radial streets. With the recent con- struction of such traffic generators as the hospital, the new 31 school, and Scheiffelin Plant in the fringe area, an increasing amount of cross-town traffic movements are developing. This traffic is presently filtering through some of the well estab- lished residential areas on narrow streets designed primarily for residential use. Such "through" traffic needs to be dis- couraged from these areas by the use of stop signs and other traffic control devices and channeled onto selected streets designed for higher volumes of traffic. Ideally the connecting streets between the radials should tie into one another forming a complete loop around the commu- nity. However, because of existing development and the layout of the street system it does not appear that the anticipated demand for such a loop system would be great enough to justify the cost of constructing such a system. As an alternative, improvements are indicated on the plan to provide segments of a loop system, or cross town streets, between the major radial streets . In the fringe area around Apex additional thoroughfares will be needed as this area comes under the influence of urban- ization. Suggested locations for these facilities are also indicated on the plan. - 32 PART III IMPLEMENTATION There are numerous "tools" available for implementing por- tions of this Land Development Plan, but unless the local citizens, individually and cooperatively, support this plan or a revised edition of this plan for communi t y- wi de improvement, the desired results will not be achieved. It is therefore suggested as an initial step toward implementation that this plan be widely publicized in an effort to inform the local cit- izenry of its merits and objectives. If there are elements of the plan that are not acceptable, they should be changed to be made acceptable provided that the changes will not destroy the over-all plan of development. The important thing is to have an up to date development plan to guide Apex's growth. Once this is accomplished, the community can begin charting a course that will lead to the fulfillment of the plan. There are certain legal tools such as zoning and subdivision regu- lations that are available, but unless the plan is backed by public interest and support to the degree that the local social and civic organizations, as well as private citizens, will attend planning board meetings and town board meetings to defend the plan when it is being challenged, the plan will soon either be amended until it loses its c ohes i venes s ; or the limited tools available for implementing portions of the plan will either not be adopted or if adopted, generalized and amended to the point that they will become useless. IMPLEMENTATION RECOMMENDATIONS: (1) The Land Development Plan should be publicized so that local residents and developers will be familiar with the plan and its objectives. (2) Developers should be encouraged to use the Land Development Plan as a general guide for deter- mining the use of land and the location of pro- posed streets in the Apex area. (3) The municipal governing body should use the Land Development Plan as a general guide for making decisions pertaining to the extension of water and sewer lines and for making street improvements. (4) The planning board and council should use the Land Development Plan as a general guide for evaluating requests for zoning amendments. (5) A capital improvements program (a long range financial plan) should be adopted, and se- lected elements of the Land Development Plan should be programmed into future annual municipal budgets. (6) All codes and ordinances should be rigidly enforced . (7) The municipality should explore the feasi- bility of initiating an urban renewal program to "clean-up" the blighted areas in the commu- ni ty . 3 3091 00747 5700 '^^^ :^. I Aerial Photos By Colbert Howell Flown by Allen Lonj B.M:t'